February 15, 2014

Rare shrew born in Rotterdam zoo

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 9:15 pm

elephant-shrew-joey-makalintalThe Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam announced the birth of a rare mouse-like creature last Thursday, a Black and rufous elephant shrew.

These critters originally come from East Africa and have a conservation status of ‘vulnerable’. They are rarely born in captivity, in fact before this birth there was only one other instance known in Europe (a child of the same mother). The zoo calls it fortunate that father Gambit and mother Gloria even hit it off (it would be, considering the father was flown in to breed).

The zoo isn’t entirely sure when the young elephant shrew was born, in fact it was first discovered by a visitor. Despite being unsure of its sex, people have already named it Guusje.

(Photo of a shrew held in the US by Joey Makalintal, some rights reserved)

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June 11, 2012

Polar bear tries to run, don’t get far

Filed under: Animals by Branko Collin @ 11:38 am

Last Tuesday the playful teen polar bear Vicks hurled rocks at the glass walls of his Blijdorp Zoo prison in Rotterdam , but ultimately shattered only 5 layers of the 7 centimetre glass wall (of an unspecified total number of layers).

Writes the zoo (in the video description):

The video shows that Vicks was simply playing with the stone and was not attacking the window deliberately. Shortly after 9 am Rob van der Horst (together with Ari Stolk) was unsuspectingly just shooting a film in he polar bear exhibit.

The strength of the window has been judged by various glass experts. Whether or not Vicks and his mum will be able to use their outdoor exhibit and the huge tank depends on the results of the investigation. The commitment of everyone in Rotterdam Zoo is to let Vicks stay in Rotterdam.

Some of the dialog at the end:

Gent 1: “Jesus, get out of here.”
Lady: “How is that possible?”
Gent 2: “The window is broken.”

And from there on it is a repetition of Jesuses and “The window is broken”. The matter-of-fact attitude by the people in the video may be explained by the fact that Blijdorp zoo has had high-profile break-outs in the past.

(Video: Youtube / Diergaarde Blijdorp. Photo of young master Vicks last summer by Flickr user jinterwas, some rights reserved. Link: Treehugger.)

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